Wednesday, 19 October 2016

My Running Journey

Assalamualaikum and a very good day to all my blog visitors and readers. 

As you might have known, I normally blog about things like current affairs and the economic situation right? So today, I would like to go back to basics and share a little bit about my newfound passion which is...running. 

Before I start, I want to share with all of you a little secret. All my life, I was NEVER really a sports kind of person, which means I don't really play sports that much, especially athletics sports like running. This is because when it comes to sports - except maybe swimming - I'm not a really well coordinated person. Sports was never second nature to me, unlike the performing arts like singing or acting. Like my dad always said, if you're into a certain kind of activity, you don't have to be forced or cajoled to do it, but you'll just go do it by yourself. I'm just thankful that I went to boarding school in my teenage years (that's SEMESTA - Sekolah Menengah Sains Tengku Abdullah in Raub, Pahang by the way) coz as a student, you were "forced" to go out and play every evening at about 5 - 7 PM and not just stay in the hostel. 

So, back to how I started to take interest in this running thing. It all actually started somewhere in 2015 where my wife Noor Azizi Salleh (or fondly known as GG) kept saying to me "Why not we join a running event?". I didn't really take her words that seriously at the time coz like I said, running was not second nature to me. GG also said that we should sign up for the "Melawati Run" which was scheduled for January 2016, but in the end none of us signed up. So that was that, but I give credit to my wife as the first person to actually open up my horizons into running, although I didn't really buy the idea immediately.

Then, enter my department where there was one colleague who just recently joined the company at the time. This new colleague, Aimran Shah was previously from a government linked corporation and one thing I noticed about him was his passion for jogging/running. Since he joined as my colleague in August 2015, he always took one day during our offpeak season to jog around the vicinity of our office in Bangsar. I didn't join him for any run until eventually I did join him almost one year later in May this year. Why did I eventually run with him? It's because just few days before that, I registered myself for a running event after continuous pestering from Aimran. My first running event was the Standard Chartered KL Marathon which was held on 7 August 2016. I just joined the 5 KM event coz I didn't really know how I would do in the run, and I joined this first run with GG. 

Then the day came for the run in August 2016. I felt that my first run was quite OK considering the track that I trained near my office was quite a hilly and hence a challenging terrain. For SCKLM, I clocked an approximate time of 53 minutes which is perhaps OK for a beginner I guess. Eventually, I also joined 2 other runs (which in actual fact I ran on behalf of my wife coz she couldn't attend due to her training which clashed with the run dates). On my third run event, the Physio Run I managed to improve my timing to about 39 minutes for 5 KM which I was quite happy about. 

A few months down the road, my wife has now become my biggest supporter and cheerleader as she will tag me in Facebook for any running events that will come up. My most recent event, which is the Mizuno Wave Run in Shah Alam was my first event where I ran for 10 KM. 

When the actual day for the run came, I went for the run and really underestimated the course which is quite hilly. However, my timing for the event was quite good according to friends which is about 1 hour 40 minutes. So, Alhamdulillah for that.

                           Posing at the finish line of the Mizuno Wave Run on 9 October 2016.

Oh, before I forget, there is another person who is quite an influence to me in taking up running. That person is actually my SEMESTA senior, Irfan Satria Ismail. The reason why I regard him as an influence is that based on my observation, he is more or less like me, in the way that as I remember, he perhaps just played sports for fun, and I didn't recall him as someone in the rugby, football or athletics team in school (correct me if I'm wrong bro). But I'm amazed that as normal as he may be, he has done quite a few HMs (that's half marathon ya, in case you're not sure) throughout these few years. And the great thing about it is, he loves to share his running experience with others through his Facebook and IG postings. So, I thought to myself, if he can do it, why not me? I remember one of his advice for me after the SCKLM in his comment: "Tahniah dan jangan serik.." (Congrats and keep running, don't be afraid to do it again). 

So there it is. A little snapshot of my new interest in running. Hopefully with this post, many more of you would consider running as a hobby, what more if we're moving into our mid 30s where health is our most important asset to take care of right? 

For me, one key takeaway that I can share about running long distance is's not about how fast you can go, but how long and how far you can endure and enjoy the journey. 

Thanks for reading, and do share if you find this writeup beneficial to others as well. Take care, Wassalam and have a great day ahead peeps...

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Quick verification on the posting on

Assalamualaikum and good day to all,

Yup, it's been a while since I last posted anything. It's been a very hectic past three months for me, so now I finally get to write something after so long. 

For those of you on my Facebook, recently I've shared an article I read from (a newspaper based in British Columbia, Canada) titled "We Can't Compete With the Malaysians" which can be found here. After I posted the article, a friend asked whether the statistics comparing Malaysia and Canada were true as there were a few parameters mentioned in that article which showed that Malaysia fared better than Canada according to the World Economic Forum 2015-16 Report. 

So, to ensure the credibility of the article I shared (and my own in the process), I took to Google to check the stats mentioned in the WEF report. So, below is the summary of what I found based on the parameters mentioned in the Terrace Standard article. Please note that the numbers mentioned are each country's position in the Global Competitiveness Index which measures the performance of 140 countries as identified by the WEF unless stated otherwise. 

Goods to market efficiency
Business sophistication
Capacity for innovation
Company spending on R&D
Gross national savings
24 (29.8% of total GDP)
60 (21.9% of total GDP)
General government debt
92 (57% of total GDP)
120 (86.5% of total GDP)

So yes, based on the WEF report, the figures stated in the Terrace Standard article is correct and we are better than Canada in the abovementioned areas. However, there are some other areas that we can learn from Canada in terms of how we do business and also how we can improve on other areas such as education and public healthcare. 

For those of you who would like to know more on how well Malaysia, Canada and the other 138 countries did in the Global Competitiveness Index, you can download the report at and perform your own review. 

I hope the above article has been beneficial to you. Cheers and wassalam...

Azim signing off.